I can't believe it is already December and I have, despite my best intentions, been very neglectful of my little blog.
The last few months have been, um, challenging. All sorts of tricky career issues, some big life questions surrounding said career, money worries arising from career crisis and a general malaise has kept me from cutting loose and enjoying myself. Anyway I'm off on holidays again this week - warmer climes in Asia await me and I really, really, really need a break. I will try to post from various destinations, as much to ensure that I retain some of my vocabulary and my brain doesn't turn to mush as I start to properly relax.
2007 has been a good year for me, despite recent concerns. The Man is a good soul and whilst he ain't the most romantic type who gives flowers or utters spontaneous declarations of affection, he has treated me very very well. Up to now I have kept this little blog private, although he knows I have one and has threatened to search for it. I think the fear of discovery has kept me from writing more freely, but I think I am waaaay overestimating his interest in finding this site so I intend to write more often and more freely.
I've also had a good year in terms of myself - sounds corny but I really quite look who I am and how I treat others, and despite the worries and business I can look back on the year and feel proud of who I am. Good to reflect on that every so often.
I am also so so so happy to see little Johnny Howard fall off his perch. I still have to get over my aversion to the phrase "The Prime Minister said" uttered by ABC journalists. I instantly recoil and then have to remind myself that we have a new PM, one who doesn't subscribe to an outdated, racist, lowest common denominator, vote buying, poll driven agenda.
This year I have got myself a new car, taken more photos, bought myself some wicked lipstick, dropped a few pesky kilos around the midsection enabling me to rediscover a few old faves from the wardrobe, had this blog namedropped in The Age, challenged myself at work, spoiled a few good friends, eaten at most of Melbourne's fabulous restaurants (oh the benefits of dating) loved, slept in, cuddled, laughed and got through it all taking life seriously, but not myself.
And that, dear friends, is the secret of Ms B's happiness.
If I don't read your words or catch up with your worlds before the end of the year, Merry Christmas or other appropriate religious/pagan/capitalist shopping event and a happy new year.
I'm off to finish my packing!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I can't believe it is already December and I have, despite my best intentions, been very neglectful of my little blog.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
That is right - I've crossed two whole items off my to do list! And this is despite having a dodgy keyboard/mouse combination that keeps adding extraneous bits of text where I don't want them, annoying colleagues and too much coffee.
It is a glorious day in Melbourne today - the kind that makes the arrival of summer seem imminent. It is also the sort of day that makes a gel regret those extra Tim Tams she consumed. I've acquired a nice little layer of warmth around my main organs recently so there will be exercise and abstinence in my near future I fear or I won't fit into any of my nice summer frocks.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Work is crazy busy, but I am healthy, The Man is good, my family is well and, letss face it, compared to those in Burma or Sudan I don't have a thing to complain about. However that is not to say that aren't things that trouble my mind from time to time. I don't get to blog and read others as often as I want to, my computer keeps crashing, I haven't read a book in weeks, I've lost my driver's licence renewal form, I have baskets of washed clothes sitting around my spare room which I really must try to put away and my larder is mostly empty. What is really perturbing me at the moment though is that I may have to give up my long held addiction to newsprint.
It may not be obvious but ask yourself this, which of these three things does not belong with the others:
*I read newspapers in the old fashioned paper-turning way.
*I have a small, mostly dehydrated, front garden which is only barely alive during our water restrictions.
*I also have a great man with whom I spend part of my weekends ahem...kissing and sleeping in with.
Apparently it is impossible to have all three in my life at the same time.
I have stuck with print newspapers for many a year now, long after others moved entirely into the digital realm. I suffered through the Age's excessive newsprint stage which led to small smudgy black fingerprints all around my home. I survived the gradual diminution of the lifestyle, entertainment and food sections. All this time I have loyally subscribed to the Age, and I have the Australian and the Fin delivered on weekends. I love nothing more than to sit back on the couch on a Saturday with pages and pages of newspaper reading ahead of me.
In days gone past I had a lovely newsagent who would carefully place the papers just inside my front gate. After a while he was replaced by an aggressive young lad who each morning at 6:00 would launch the papers from his bike to my front door causing a loud bang. As annoying as this might sound it usually served as my alarm clock and ensured I could read the papers before heading off to work.
Now I have a newsagent who drives past in his Volvo (!) every morning at about 8, well after I have left for work. He seems to take particular perverse delight in throwing the weekday papers from his car window and he aims not at my front door or pathway, but at the any bit of greenery left in my small plot. So far he has decapitated geraniums, crushed my lavender bush, sliced a succulent or ten and "pruned" my roses for me. Is it too much to ask that I can read the Age and keep my garden intact? Apparently it is. I have visiting him and asked him nicely to help me out and try to avoid this. He looked down at me over his bulbous nose, with a smug look on his swarthy red face and smirked "sure." Since then the garden destruction has really taken off and it now looks like a small cyclone has visited upon my long suffering plants.
On weekends the problem is different. As I am often staying with The Man I arrive home later in the day to find all the papers nicely lined up on my pathway in clear sight advertising to all and sundry that (a)I have spent the night elsewhere and am not home or (b) I am a can't get out of bed. Don't get me wrong – I don't much care if my neighbours think I am a slovenly slut but I don't really want to let all the local burglars know I'm out.
Apparently I can't change to another newsagent as Mr Volvo is the only person who covers my area. I fear my days of newsprint are behind me. I apologise to those newspaper journalists who fear that the move to online newspapers will cost them jobs. You can't say I didn't try.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'll give you some examples...
The crush-worthy Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet:
Australia's very own "I'm lucky I ended up in this band or I would never have scored Deni Hines" Kirk Pengilly:
James Valentine from the Models, now a serious ABC journalist/presenter type:
The dude from Dire Straits:
The dude who played with Hall & Oates (who, readers, was actually the epitome of 1985 cool with a sax, a mullet and a shiny jacket natch)
This list is not complete of course. We should mention the other great forgotten saxophonists including from Australian Crawl, Wang Chung, Men Without Hats, Psychedelic Furs, Was (Not Was) (personal faves of Ms Batville) and the boys who played along with Alison Moyet and Sade.
These days there is nary a saxophone player in sight. I don't much mind this but I do worry for all those Gen X saxophonists who took up the instrument inspired by young Billy Hicks (played by the very chiseled cheekbones of a pre Sam Seaborn Rob Lowe) in the all time classic 80's film St Elmo's Fire. I related to the Mare Winnngham character (whose name was, would you believe, Wendy Beamish!!) when she fell head over heels for Billy. I'm sure many impressionable young boys and girls thought similarly and begged their parents for an instrument so they could look this cool:
Where are they now? Is their beloved sax sitting in a dusty cupboard somewhere with their dreams of stardom shattered, or are they out at the Burvale on a Friday night blasting away tunelessly while they recreate retro classics to a roomful of drunk and nostalgic punters?
Friday, August 24, 2007
How time flies – a whole month since I last posted. So I'm back in Melbourne, reasonably refreshed and considerably more penurious after my overseas extravagance. During my holiday I mostly stayed away from email and reminders from home, hence no travel blogging. (Besides which reading about Dr Haneef made me so angry I thought it best not to check out what was going on). I'm only just back but it all seems to be fading into the background now so I don't think I will depress myself and recount my fabulous times in detail.
Needless to say I had a lovely trip – The Man and I generally got on extremely well and we survived the whole driving/navigating together thing. I saw great art, magnificent scenery, breathtaking views and the odd historical building. I walked and walked until I had blisters, I read none of the books I took over, I swam in warm water and I only did a smidgen of shopping. I met interesting people, stupid people and travelled with delightful old friends and less delightful moody newer acquaintances. I spent money on great accommodation, expensive dinners and alcohol.
The nice thing about getting away is that it gives you time to think and get your priorities in order. Whilst I like to think of myself as a traveller I am often guilty of working too hard, obsessing over little things and not taking enough holidays. During my trip I have reflected on the following important and less important issues:
- I get bored with my job from time to time. That is OK and doesn't represent a career crisis. I will get less bored if I take some time out every so often. I will also get less bored if I have the confidence to challenge myself. I'll get that confidence if I take time to stick my little meerkat head up from my work and get some perspective more often.
- I have finally learnt to pack semi-lightly. I took a moderate suitcase, packed more clothes than I wore but still had room to fit in some shopping purchases. It has taken 30+ years but I no longer have to exceed the baggage allowance on Qantas.
- I need to take more holidays – that is, I need to take them more frequently and go to lots of different places. I should mentally wipe my headspace free of work and Australia (picture a mental Etch-a-Sketch here) by travelling overseas at least once every eighteen months.
- Melbourne food is wonderful. You can eat at plenty of mid-range restaurants and have meals that range from good to very good. You rarely get a dud meal. We also have some fabulous restaurants. The food here is fresh and the meals are not too processed, salty, sweet or huge. Not that I don't appreciate eating local cuisine in foreign countries, but some of it is just over-priced crap. I should appreciate Melbourne food more.
- Australia is not a very important country but we could be a great country and we have some fabulous people. John Howard is not one of them. We desperately need to get out of our "baby-bonus plasma-TV buying, racist fear-mongering, complacent mortgage holders battler lowest common denominator" culture and elect a politician who can actually lead the country and equip it to face the future.
- More than a few Qantas staff are up themselves and should take a bit more time to reflect on how they treat their customers.
- The Man is a very very good sort and whilst he is not the most expressive, romantic bloke in the world, he is genuine and reliable. He has shown me great care and ever so often he makes some gesture to make me happy that takes my breath away. I enjoy his sense of humour, his intelligence, his musings and I am never for a moment bored in his company. We are going well. I don’t know where it will end up, and I don't think he does either. That is just fine for the moment.
- Watching Kath & Kim on the Qantas flight home is destined to make one very depressed. It shouldn't be played on flights into Australia.
I am gradually sinking back into the routine of everyday living, although I fear I am still a tad jetlagged. This weekend I will get out and about in Melbourne this weekend to ensure that I am not beset by post-holiday ennui. Hope life is treating you well and I look forward to catching up on events in the blogosphere.
Monday, July 23, 2007
to a place in the other hemisphere where it is warm and where John Howard has no influence! Yah!
And if you need another reason to seriously wonder about our Prime Minister at times, take this extract from The Age:
However even Mrs Howard's considerable influence has had its limits. When she was in end-stage labour with their third child, the book recounts that Mr Howard refused to break the speed limit while driving her to hospital, despite her obvious panic. He also baulked at driving the wrong way up a one-way street. In the end, he missed the birth while trying to find a legal car park.So little Australian battlers, just remember that whilst babies (and the associated baby bonus) are good things, it is against the law to break the speed limit or travel up a one way street the wrong way. It is always important to do the "right" thing and laws are more important than people.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
It is only a few more sleeps until I take a nice long flight, otherwise known as the time that busy people from the antipodes catch up on sleep and reading when travelling to the old world.
For some reason I am not inspired by any of the many unread books on my bookshelf, and I'm keen to splash out on a page-turner or two. I'm not in the mood for trash, rather something well written and neither depressing nor overly joyful.I'm fond of the classics, don't mind the odd bit of crime, or a historical work, or an autobiography. I've been recommended A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
Any other suggestions very welcome....
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Check this out!
It reads (with italics added by Ms Batville):
Australian translation you can trust
Your most important choice when selecting a translation service, to handle your translation, is trust. You probably don't speak Australian yourself, so there are a few questions you'll need to consider when choosing a translation company.
How do you know the company you're using haven't just picked a lot of words from a dictionary and handed them back? (For example: bonzer, shelia, drongo and aveagoodweekend)
How can you be sure your text has the same meaning when translated into Australian? (For example: "The arrangement is satisfactory" becomes "she'll be right mate")
Hundreds of companies trust us to get their translations right first time, including UEFA, Sony and Morgan Stanley. (Sell your shares quick) We'll deliver your documents back to you, the way you want them, on time and at the price we quoted you.
Quality assured Australian translators
Language is a living thing it develops and changes constantly. To ensure our translators keep abreast of the language our Australian translators live in-county and translate into their mother tongue. (However English grammar is not their strong point). Our database of translators ensures that we can guarantee you a fast turnaround, even on large documents with short deadlines. (Even this arvo) Only 20% of the translators who apply to work for us pass our quality checks. (The other 80% must go to work on Neighbours) That's how committed we are to ensuring that our standards are kept extremely high.
The Best Australian translation to help your business grow
We have only one level of translation service - The Best. (Sleece Tiger do which translates as It is the least I can do)
The Best service means:
- We stick to our promises. (Struth)
- You'll only ever pay the price on our quote. (We're on the up and up)
- We're honest and open with our customers. (True Blue)
- We don't cut corners, every project gets our total attention. (Fair Dinkum)
So, whether you have one or one hundred translations done, you will always receive consistent top quality translation. (Bewdie)
Top quality personal Australian translation
"It's too small for us, you'll need to speak to someone else", is what most Australian translation companies will say, when you ask them to help you with your important letter, certificate or document. (Actually they are probably too busy laughing down the phone). We are more than happy to help you. You will receive the same high quality Australian translation service as all our customers. (You'll never need to do your nana). Your translation will be completed on time and at a reasonable price. (Flaming oath it will)
PS: I can recommend the very witty and informative monkeybizness, a great newish blog I stumbled across in my travels.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
He wants to pretend Australia can abandon Iraq, retreat to "our own backyard" and leave others to carry the burden of the great global security challenges of the day. He scarcely considers the consequences beyond the next 24-hour news cycle.
Downer also goes on to say that "maintenance of global security will sometimes require Australia to shoulder its share of responsibility, even when that involves difficult choices" and that Rudd is "unfit to lead the nation [as a] foreign policy imposter".
Extraordinarily he states that Australia, presumably under his bumbling, stuttering, overweight English-school boy act as Foreign Minister has a "sophisticated strategy of global engagement". Why is it that coming from his pen that sounds like semi-colonial rhetoric? And why is our sophisticated strategy so damn similar to that of the US?
In today's Herald Sun Downer has another go at Rudd, saying that after his visit to Iraq and Afghanistan, he believes that our presence is necessary. It would be funny where it not so pathetically tragic for him to boast "General Petraeus told me [out troops] were world leaders, making an invaluable contribution." Anyone else get the sense that Lexie is really excited to be playing on the big stage with the boys with real guns.
complex history of race relations in Australia."
I don't purport to know all the answers and I am all for a serious debate about our role in Iraq, one that doesn’t talk about "emboldening terrorists," "appeasement" or "poll driven sloganeering". However I don't think Downer is the man to take us on that debate. I am also finding it particularly hard to take him seriously after seeing that "I'm so freaky" number in Keating the Musical that seems him adorned in fishnet stockings and a feather boa. Even seeing him in a tuxedo makes me feel strangely ill.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I was thinking today about those things are unique to your city. By that I don't mean something that is merely unusual, or that can be imitated in other places. I'm talking about those experiences that are truly different.
For example, in Sydney it might be standing on Sydney Harbour at The Rocks and taking in the majesty of the Opera House, or catching that first view of the bridge lit up at night when the Manly ferry swings around. Alternatively it might be something more humble, like that somewhat sad lighted cube in Civic in Canberra that changes colour when you talk to it. I would bet you can't recreate that experience anywhere else in the world.
Here is my tentative pick for Melbourne:
- Running your hand along the water wall at the NGV like a little kid.
- The experience of having your AM radio reception (yes I'm a Newsradio junkie) cut off with weird hissing sounds when a tram goes past you.
- The experience of being madly "dinged" by a tram driver who objects to you being on the tram tracks trying to do a right hand turn. (More disconcerting is the relatively new phenom en of the tram driver using their microphone to broadcast their disapproval to the whole street, causing everyone to turn around and look when they say "You in the blue Camry, in a hurry are we? Is that why you need to block this entire tram full of 60 people, just so you can turn right? Well get a move on love or get out of my way.")
- The roar from the crowd at the MCG just after the singing of the national anthem at AFL finals.
- Shaking your head at how the Sandridge Rail Bridge is a blight on the Yarra. I know we keep it because it was one of the first railway bridges to use steel girders but it is still a bloody eyesore.
- Buying fruit from the sellers at the Victoria Market, and apologising for giving large notes to be met with that uniquely Australian-Greek accented response "Doesn't matter".
- Seeing Paul Kelly sing Leaps and Bounds at the Prince of Wales.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
I'm back. Shamed by I'm not Craig and dismayed by the number of people who visit my blog after typing the words 'strange' and 'sex' and 'opposite' into Google Images and decide to check out a photo of a man licking a turtle, I can stay away no longer.
Truthfully I've been far too busy with The Man (all good), waaaay too much work and waaaay too much worry, life, low iron levels (must eat more beef), lack of sleep and not enough fun. I lost my inspiration for the written word for a while, however I've determined to stride purposefully back into this little blog (mentally I'm wearing some lovely grey wool Katherine Hepburn style wide leg pants and patent pumps when I do this) to see where it takes me.
Besides which, there is much commentary to be had about Australia the movie .
I look forward to catching up.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I have been hoping that I will not turn into one of those grumpy types who wanders around with a texta in order to correct spelling and grammar in public signage, and who hassles shop assistants about matters outside their control. To my shame, I think I might be.
Yesterday I happened to be in the Bourke Street mall and I wandered past the lovely windows at David Jones with all the nice new autumn/winter clothes. Normally I love DJ's. The staff are usually helpful, the refit of their ground floor beauty area is lovely and you can hide away their in an air conditioned and artificially lit cocoon and mentally spend away your entire year's pay on products that you would probably never apply.
Featured in the shop in large posters was the beautiful "god I would love to hate her but really I just want to look like her" Megan Gale as part of DJ's makeup/beauty booklet . Leaving aside that the booklet appears to be inspired by and directly rip off the Mecca Cosmetica catalogue, it is full of tempting ideas and Megan looks stunning. I would upload a photo of the front cover but Blogger is conspiring against me. You can check it out here.
Spot anything? Part of it reads "Devine Goddess Flawless Face Luminous Glow". "Devine Goddess" is the name used as a brand of cosmetics by Napoleon Perdis, this man:
Now, Napoleon here might be a OK sort of guy if you want your makeup applied by George Michael. Personally, I think he is likely to be a complete tosser. According to his website "The Napoleon Perdis philosophy is not dictated by fashion - it's about celebrating and empowering your natural beauty with products that have built-in educators and pro-tips." I'm not sure what the built-in educators are, but I'm pretty sure his eye shadows do not come equipped with a set of Encyclopedia Britannica.And they sure as hell don't come equipped with a dictionary. What is "devine" anyway? I googled this and apart from one entry that suggested "devine" meant "a beautiful woman" (methinks Napoleon wrote that), it ain't a word. It sure as hell isn't a word according to the OED.
What is wrong with the traditional spelling? What did the first "i" in "devine" do to offend Napoleon? Maybe Napoleon's clientele (those who attend the Perdis Academy and those who spend their life on the Vogue Australia forums) can't spell "divine"?
It might be alright for Napoleon and his built-in educated women to misspell words, but I expect more from DJ's. This made me quite irrationally grumpy. Luckily for DJ's I didn't deface their posters.
In my grumpy mood I wandered over to Jurlique when I was met by a snobby bitch attendant who peered down her nose at me as I was something that crawled out from underneath an Australis counter. "Ha!" I thought, "I can have some fun".Pulling myself to my full height I glanced over to her with my best "I want to spend money" face. She half smiled and asked me if she could answer any questions about Jurlique. "Ha!" I thought as I prepared to ask her about Jurlique's $3.4 million dollar fine for resale price maintenance. Then it occurred to me that it would be a bit like hitting a pigeon, she would blink wildly but no expression would register and she might flap away.
So I felt cruel and, as such, slunk back out into the daylight where my aversion to pretentious makeup retailers, wankers called Napoleon and spelling errors could be washed away by the daylight.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Well hello all. It has been quite an absence from the blogosphere but no I have not fallen under a tram or one of those nasty Connex trains that does not stop. I have lots of posting and lots of reading to catch up on and I am looking forward to finding out what has been happening. I hope this finds you all well having survived the festive season and the whole New Year's Resolution breaking-guilt that invariably accompanies January.
As for a six week pause between posts, well honeybear has caught me out (see last post) with her very perceptive comment:
To follow on a well documented theme...PUT THAT BOY DOWN AND START BLOGGING AGAIN! Really, you've had six uninterrupted weeks of boy-bliss (or at least I hope so) and now it is time to get back to the rest of us and start talking again.HURRY....P.S. INC and Watershed agree with me!I am ashamed to admit that, yes, I have become one of those women who forgo the things she loves for romance. It has been six weeks of boy...actually Man-bliss, well mostly bliss really. There has been lots of kissing and lots of "ahem...let's call it kissing" and eating at nice restaurants, seeing movies and sipping cocktails whilst talking to the early hours. Few blips along the way so I have been playing it cool and he has been paying lots of attention, and good attention it has been too. So 'The Man' is fine in every well and Ms Batville is a happy woman indeed. But that is not my sole excuse for my blogvoidance. Let me sum up the last six weeks:
- Pre-Christmas: Work functions, work, work, work, last minute shopping, messy house, nothing in the larder. Catch up with 'The Man' who still just wants to keep things undefined and play it 'by ear' as he is still a bit 'freaked out about the whole getting together thing'. Decide not to buy 'The Man' a Christmas present in order not to freak the poor lad further. The Man gives me a gorgeous Christmas present which is (a) stunning, (b) well thought out and (c) very expensive. I tell him 'Well, I did find you the perfect gift but you wanted to play it "by ear" so I thought I wouldn't get it for you'. He grins in response.
- Christmas - presents wrapped at 5am Christmas day, exhausted at family tree-present-opening thingie, exhausted at big hoopla lunch thingie, lack of traditonal Batville family 3pm nap due to arrival of hideous uninvited cousin and her horrible badspring, exhausted drive home and teary cry for no reason in bed alone on Christmas night.
- Post Christmas week - burning candle at both ends, initially lots of "ahem....kissing", lots of catching up with people in town for the week, almost running out of clean clothes, semi-meltdown in front of The Man due to lack of sleep and bad bad bad PMS. Have almost fight after finding out he bought a gift for the girl he was seeing. He says it is a goodbye gift given he broke up with her for me and it is 'the least he can do'. This combined with sleep deprivation and horrid PMS sends me almost over the edge until Mum Batville tells me to pull myself together. Later realise he has spent way less on her than on my Christmas present (and yes, I mean way less). The gift disappears from his place shortly after and not another word of her has come up till he obliquely confirms that this it is all over.
- New Years - The Man and I a bit tense at first, catch up with friends for drinks, lovely evening, watch fireworks and wish good friends all the best, leave with The Man.
- Day after New Years - The Man and I turn up 3 hours late to a mutual friend's casual gathering. Most of our mutual friends there and still have no idea we are seeing one another (which has been good), Friend 1 comments on The Man's reputation for tardiness "Well, you must have worked wonders Ms Batville to get The Man up, bet you had to ring him multiple times to drag him out of bed and remind him to be here". The Man replies "I think Ms Batville and I are equally to blame for being late". I leave the room to avoid laughing and blushing simultaneously.
- Day after that - I return to work early in order to attend to urgent project.
- Since then - 969 unread emails in my account, probably umpteen unpaid bills, many days of 12+ hour days at work, The Man and I tell one close friend we are together and he reacts with considerable joy, messy house, nothing in the larder, plenty of cocktails and almost daily catching up instigated by 'The Man' more "ahem...kissing" with him, two emergency undie shops (for when a gal runs of clean ones and has no time to wash so rushs to Myer in her lunch hour) and general chaos.
Hoping things will calm down soon at work and I can get some sleep. How do normal people do it? The "ahem...kissing" is fabulous but is contributing to my general lack of sleep. I'm sure there is a secret to managing work, keeping a smallish house tidy, having clean undies and spending quality time with another. Tips are very welcome.
And thanks to Audrey for a nomination. How nice! She is a sweetie.
More soon dearies, and I promise it won't be Man related or a work gripe.